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Can Somebody Explain What This Does?


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#1 upstatemike

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 04:09 PM

Just got an email from UDI about this:

 

https://www.universa...oducing-polisy/

 

but I'm having trouble parsing just what it is/does. Anybody familiar with it who can explain?



#2 xlurkr

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 07:52 PM

I'm not that familiar with it (though I just preordered one - UDI can do no wrong in my book), but I think I know what it does.  It's a platform for hosting nodeservers.  That's how UDI supports stuff beyond Insteon and Z-Wave, which it does natively.  In UDI-speak, everything is treated as a "node".

 

At first, the only way they had to control other devices was the networking module that allowed you to send commands to network devices, as long as you knew the protocol.  But it was one-way only in most cases.  If you have a nodeserver for a device, you can add it to your ISY and it's fully equivalent to an Insteon or Z-Wave device - you can include it in scenes, set up conditional logic based on its state, have it manipulate variables or trigger the execution of programs, etc.

 

Prior to this, most people had been setting up nodeserver platforms on a Windows box, or an RPi.  This is a way to add zero-effort, UDI-approved, software-integrated-hardware nodeserver capability to your ISY.  At least I hope so.  I'd been waiting for something like this, based on the chatter on the USI forum and because I like to tinker, but not RPi-level tinkering.

 

And now for the rumor-mongering. I'm guessing this is the first step of UDI bidding adios to Insteon.  They have set up their own clearinghouse for the nodeservers, and they aren't that shy about their frustrations with Insteon.  Plus, they needed a way to respond to shifting customer demands, and now they have it.  If you like UDI, and don't love Insteon or don't believe it has a future, this may be what you've been waiting for.

 

-Tom



#3 LarrylLix

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 09:37 PM

I currently run Polyglot  with one Nodeserver on a RPi3. This appears to be a supercharged RPi 3+ which is becoming a necessity in this home automation plus remote control era.

 

CPU power isn't being stressed with HA systems but rather the I/O power and the USB bus Ethernet port interface on the RPi3 is becoming a drag at times. This beast sports three Ethernet ports, hopefully to alleviate some of the bottle necks.



#4 upstatemike

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 08:07 AM

I guess I need to read up on ISY nodes to understand because I'm still having trouble picturing it. I have never been tempted to use my ISY for anything beyond managing Insteon and acting as an Insteon interface/subsystem for Homeseer. I do have basic events like timers and motion sensors set up in ISY programs but for anything complex I use Homeseer. The ISY logic engine is just not as intuitive (to me) as the standard logic models used by Elk, Homeseer, Stargate etc. so I would not be tempted to make it my automation central controller. Also about 95% of my automation events involve a TTS announcement of some sort, how does an ISY994 handle that? Is it a feature you get when you add Polyglot?

 

I do understand the frustration with Insteon and between Lifx, Hue, Z-Wave and stand-alone motion sensors I have replaced about 30 Insteon devices (20% of my total Insteon installation) with other technologies. That said Insteon still has a few advantages that make it hard to replace in some areas:

 

Insteon switches are dramatically shallower than most other technologies making them usable in tight retrofit situations where nothing else will fit.

Insteon can use the powerline to get a signal to a remote location that does not have any intervening devices that could be leveraged for RF hops. You don't have to build out a mesh to reach a distant control point.

Insteon associations work without any hub or controller. If you set up a virtual multi-way switch or keypad scene control and then remove your automation controller or hub, the switches still work as expected.

Insteon switches always report local control and can be used to control other things beyond the local load. Products like Caseta and Hue quickly show their shortcomings when you are trying to address unusual control situations.

 

I am by no means an Insteon fan but until some other technology steps up to cover all the key features needed to install automation in challenging retrofit environments I hope ISY continues to support it.



#5 LarrylLix

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 10:01 PM

Ethernet toys<-----------+                                                                                         +--------->Insteon devices

Ethernet toys<-----------+---->Polyglot (Nodeservers)<----Ethernet-------> ISY <----+--------->Zwave devices

Ethernet toys<-----------+                                                                                         +--------->Ethernet devices



#6 roussell

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 07:57 PM

That’s a mainboard and enclosure from pcengines. I run the same thing as a pfsense box. Lots of power and reliable as a toaster, good choice on the hardware front. Terry Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

#7 upstatemike

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 10:52 AM

If this doesn't ship until October and you want to use it with Nest I assume you would have to set up a temporary Node server and and configure a Nest node before the August 31st deadline for new Nest connections right?



#8 LarrylLix

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 12:34 PM

If this doesn't ship until October and you want to use it with Nest I assume you would have to set up a temporary Node server and and configure a Nest node before the August 31st deadline for new Nest connections right?

Many others have reported the "Doesn't work with Nest" has already hit them. I have avoided google as much as possible in the last few years so I have no first hand experience.

 

I believe UDI is trying work out some deal with google to keep Polyglot nodeservers connected.


Edited by LarrylLix, 15 June 2019 - 12:34 PM.


#9 upstatemike

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:02 AM

Many others have reported the "Doesn't work with Nest" has already hit them. I have avoided google as much as possible in the last few years so I have no first hand experience.

 

I believe UDI is trying work out some deal with google to keep Polyglot nodeservers connected.

 

If they don't succeed is there a serial thermostat that works with Polyglot? Ecobee is no good because of the long polling interval (I use real time voice confirmation of any changes made to the stat).

 

Also how does voice output work with Polyglot? If you want to speak the value of a thermostat setting or other variable how do you do that?



#10 LarrylLix

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 03:23 PM

With the ISY Portal it offers a voice to ISY element conversion table. You can define any variable as a motion detector or door contact based on a variable value. Now it shows up in Alexa app as a contact that can be used as trigger in a Routine. Alexa Routines can include vocals, operate devices etc. . Other than than the vocals I don't know why anybody would avoid the device control ISY offers though. Sent using Tapatalk

#11 upstatemike

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 06:58 PM

With the ISY Portal it offers a voice to ISY element conversion table. You can define any variable as a motion detector or door contact based on a variable value. Now it shows up in Alexa app as a contact that can be used as trigger in a Routine. Alexa Routines can include vocals, operate devices etc. . Other than than the vocals I don't know why anybody would avoid the device control ISY offers though. Sent using Tapatalk

I don't know... that is why I am asking so many questions about it. Also I don't think device control is really that big a part of my automation requirements. My ISY already handles most of my schedules and motion sensors which is the majority of my control requirements. Far more important to me is monitoring and reporting. I use a lot of alerts and reminders.

 

Some of my typical automation implementations include:

 

Verbal caller ID announcements so I know without looking if I should stop what I'm doing to answer the phone.

Verbal "car in driveway" alerts

Verbal reminders of upcoming birthdays and such

Real time verbal confirmation of thermostat changes (both manual and programmed) I can set a precise temperature setting with my eyes shut.

Verbal doors and windows left open after dark reminders.

Verbal well pump cycle count and duration announcements each time the pump runs.

Verbal furnace burner and blower cycle,and run time announcements with daily totals so far by furnace each time a furnace runs.

Verbal oven on and total watts being consumed reminder every 15 minutes when the oven is on.

Verbal announcement that dryer is on and total watts being consumed.

Verbal warnings for high wind, rain starting, barometer dropping, or lightning strike as each occurs.

Verbal warning every 30 minutes if any lights have been left on during the day.

Verbal reminder if the dishwasher is running with watts being consumed and then a reminder every hour after it finishes that it needs to be unloaded.

Verbal alert when the mail is delivered and then a reminder every hour until you get the mail and reset the mailbox.

 

I am happy to use whatever platform is easiest to accomplish what I need and I would not hesitate to migrate the functions above to Polyglot/Polysys if there was a compelling reason to do so. I just need to understand exactly how that would work so I can evaluate it against my other options.



#12 upstatemike

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 07:54 AM

Forgot to mention I want to get into playing more wav or mp3 clips in addition to the verbal announcements. I already have Stargate providing ghost sounds at midnight and the mailbox plays a verse of "Zipcode" by the Young Americans down at the mailbox when the mail person opens the door. My next project will be to play a couple of bars of "God Save the Queen" (My Country Tis Of Thee) whenever the guest toilet is flushed. Clearly my automation requirements are different from most.



#13 pete_c

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 08:16 AM

Unrelated...
 
Here with Homeseer have always used SAPI Text to Speech for automation with no dependencies on the cloud.
 
Over the years have toned down the TTS.  That said I have been collecting SAPI voice fonts for many years now.
 
Lately with HA been doing this with Alexa devices (with dependencies on the cloud)
 
Recently testing an all in one automation mini box called the BeeLink BT3.  It is using an Intel CPU with 4 Gb of RAM and an internal eMMC 64Gb drive.

 

beelinkBT3Pro


The box is tiny.  Some new models now include an MSATA slot under the base for expansion beyond the 64Gb drive.
 
Best of all purchased this box for around $70 USD new on sale.  I am seeing these priced at around $150 these days.
 
On this box running Ubuntu 18.04 64 bit for Homeseer 3 and Home Assistant and Node Red and Windows 7 embedded for Microsoft SAPI.
 
Have a Zigbee, ZWave, UPB and X10 controller connected to it.
 
Not really pushing on it too much.

 

Doing similiar for PFSense with a micro box with two NICs / 4-8 Gb of RAM.

 

firewall

 



#14 LarrylLix

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 09:37 PM

If they don't succeed is there a serial thermostat that works with Polyglot? Ecobee is no good because of the long polling interval (I use real time voice confirmation of any changes made to the stat).

 

Also how does voice output work with Polyglot? If you want to speak the value of a thermostat setting or other variable how do you do that?

Voice output is not something Polyglot is involved in, so far.

ISY Portal to GH or Alexa devices is the easiest so far from ISY. Since ISY has not much text support and no voice support ISY portal can convert an ISY element into  binary device that Alexa can use. I explained this in post #10.

 

Previously many were using their Elk security systems to speak vocals from ISY. It should be relatively easy to control a RPi to create vocals, from ISY. I send my RPi lighting effects now for animations and other goofy things. Only the Network resources model required for that and requires no cloud assistance.

 

The only non-cloud stat access I know of, is Venstar, Colortouch. Nodelink on a Rpi would be required for that with ISY, so far.

I have two but don't like them, as ecobee is so much more stable and has so many more and better features. Nobody plays with my stats so I don't have to lock them down. A Venstar once started my A/C compressor backward as most stats have no  dead time for second stage A/C compressors. Luckily I was standing across the courtyard from it and recognised what was happening, shutting off the service switch on the wall behind it. What a racket!

 

Polyglot is an open source interface for ISY to the world of devices so who knows what is coming next. In the last year we have about 30 different nodeservers ready at the click of a mouse now. Polisy is absorbing all this into one box now.



#15 upstatemike

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:26 AM

OK thanks for the clarification. As I continue my research I am getting a clearer picture and have come to the following conclusions (please correct me if any of these are wrong):
 
Polisys (used interchangeably with Polyglot here) is good for bringing some additional technologies into the ISY994 to enhance your options for various control scenarios. A good example is the very tight control available between Insteon dimmers and Hue bulbs to provide a responsive built-in switch option for Hue products.
 
Once you move outside of control logic the Polisys/ISY combo sort of gets outside of its comfort zone so things like TTS and caller ID and so on are still going to require another platform such as Homeseer to cover all the bases.
 
There is no way to know at this time what Nodes might be developed in the future but the framework does suggest that there limitations in some areas to what might be done. On the other hand that framework allows some integrations that cannot be done as well on other platforms such as the above mentioned Hue/Insteon link.
 
Once Insteon is ported over to the Polisys in a year or two, making the ISY redundant, it is not clear to what extent UDI will continue to develop for Insteon support vs focusing their effort on Z-Wave and other technologies. 
 
It is not clear if Node Servers will at some point become paid add-ons (like Homeseer plugins) and what they are likely to cost.
 
For Z-Wave Homeseer is likely to remain the best option for large installations because of the management toolset and flexibility you get with multiple Z-net controllers.
 
For things like consolidating multiple Hue hubs and making all their devices available to Alexa it is not clear if Polisys can be used or if you need something like Hubitat to bind it all together.
 
At some point Elk M1 support will likely move from the ISY to a Node Server but it is unclear if that will be a good path to get access to serial thermostats or not.
 
I'll keep reading until it all finally clicks for me.

Edited by upstatemike, 18 June 2019 - 08:28 AM.





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